Narcissists and feedback

Dealing with difficult personalities
Difficult personalities

Narcissists and feedback


People make mistakes and can learn from them. With narcissists this is unlikely. Even to harmless and cautious feedback, narcissists respond as if it were harsh inappropriate criticism. They react offended and insulted because this could damage their self-image. At least inwardly they react angrily. However, anger can also easily lead to significant aggression.

Feedback and narcissists

When you express criticism to narcissists, they experience it like a massive physical attack. For narcissists, it feels like the destruction of their person. Depending on the relationship and context, the reaction is usually very exaggerated. This happens sooner or later. Sometimes the response can happen even much later when you no longer expect it. It can be overt or covert. However, one result is quite certain: narcissists do not forget even accidental attacks. They want revenge at any price.




Is it worth it?


Even from your point of view, harmless and constructive feedback will be resented by narcissists. They perceive something like this as an insult and take it personally. So, be careful and exercise extreme tact and sensitivity, just as a bomb disposal expert would.
Before you address issues, think about whether you want to do this despite the risks. Insight is usually not to be expected from narcissists. Depending on the situation, you should at best expect hypocritical insight, excuses, blame, or emotional reactions such as outbursts of rage.




Emotional reactions


Stay calm during outbursts of rage by narcissists. It is part of the preferred behavioral repertoire of narcissistic personalities. Such people know how to manipulate others. Learn to recognize their manipulation techniques.






If, despite the risks, you dare to criticize a narcissist, then wrap it up well. Feed narcissists with a lot of acceptable praise. The subsequent criticism should be given in small doses. Do you find this exhausting? So do I!

In any case, there is one thing you can forget about: changing narcissistic personalities. You won’t bring them to insights or establish a relationship at eye level. These are pointless attempts.

Help in dealing with narcissists (no legal advice!)


If you wish professional support for your decision-making, communication, or because you suffer emotionally from narcissists, then we can arrange an appointment.

Either you come to me in Berlin or we organize a telephone meeting or use the Internet with a video conferencing system. All these possibilities work very well and have already helped many people.

It's urgent? Thanks to an immediate bank transfer, it is also possible to organize sessions at short notice, often even on the same day.

In any case, you can orient yourself by reading the list with fees. Often a telephone call of 60 minutes is enough.

Every day, I get many inquiries. Some have only one question, others send long question lists, some even call me at night. As much as I would like to help voluntarily, my calendar doesn't allow that anymore. I know, that not everyone has the financial means for professional help. You can then at least use the comment function to discuss issues with other people. Sometimes I also answer questions in the comments. However, the day is full at some point and I ask for your understanding. I am aware of the psychological strain that often results from contact with narcissists.

Preparation of important conversations and negotiations


Communication can be very easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say things and then later notice from the reaction of our conversation partners that they seem to have spoken to someone completely different. I didn't say that with the best will in the world. - Or did I say that after all?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen fast enough and above all not exactly to the point and descriptively, the person we are talking to quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. — Conversation failed.

You can let me support you in the preparation of your conversations and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will familiarize you with effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and finally convince.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail ( You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.



What experience have you had with narcissists?


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This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: January 2, 2012
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: September 25, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:

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